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liberty610

In Studio With Helix - How Should I Route It?

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Hey guys,

 

I just got the Helix for my project studio yesterday. I have the flooorboard model for now, as there was a mix up with my order. Next week I will be returning the floorboard model when the rack version gets here. I have been doing a ton of research on it, and I have several years experience with recording bands. I built my on pc for it, and I am pretty tech savvy. I purchased the Helix to upgrade from Podfarm plugin for guitar tracking. First, please allow me to explain my setup so you will understand better what I am asking.

 

Because I do not have a properly treated room for live mic recording (mainly solid drum recording), I use electronic drums connected to my PC through midi to trigger VSTi plugins like Superior Drummer 2.0 and I do a lot of direct recording for guitars. For a while now, I would record guitars direct/dry and use Podfarm plug-in to generate the guitar tones.

 

My main audio interface is a Focusrite 18i20, and I have 4 main JBL monitors connected to that for playback/monitoring. I also have a 6 channel headphone amp routed from the Focusrite interface for monitoring as well. I run Reaper as my recording DAW.

 

I know the Helix is actually a recording interface as well when connected through USB, and I know it can be used to record guitar tracks through the USB port by switch to it in Reaper. I also know that if I switch to Helix as an interface, my guitar players will have to use the Helix headphone jack for monitoring during tracking, because the Helix will take over the Daw and NOT send the audio through my Focusrite which has the monitors and headphone amp connected to it. However, here is where I am not sure what I should do...

 

Like I said, in the past I have used Podfarm plug-in after recording guitars direct/dry so we can change the guitar tones on the fly during the mix after the guitar tracks have been finished. I know there is the Helix Native plug-in coming out soon, and I am assuming I can use the same approach as I have in the past where I would be able to use it to change a tone on the fly after it has been tracked.

 

But, until Helix Native comes out, or until I decide to buy it or not, I was wondering what I should do for tracking. Does the Helix have the option to send a processed tone to my daw as well as an unprocessed tone at the same time? And if so, how would we take the un-processed tone and send back to Helix to change the tone? Should we use the interface options in Helix to do this? Or should we send Helix to my Focusrite via XLR?

 

I am sorry if I have confused anyone. Any help/feedback will be appreciated! 

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Here is what I would do (and have done) with your setup. I would start with path 1 input set to guitar run through your amp and various FX and then set the output to 1/4". I would then feed this into input 1 on your Scarlett.

 

Now on path 2 set the input to guitar but do not add any amps or FX to this path. For output to the Scarlett you have a couple of options now. If you want mono dry guitar tracks, set the output to XLR and run that into input 2 on your Scarlett. If you prefer to work with stereo, I would set the output to digital for this path and then use the Helix's SPDIF out to your Scarlett's SPDIF in (just make sure you've set the sample rates to match in both devices to make sure they don't lose sync).

 

Now in Reaper you can arm both tracks set to whatever Scarlett inputs your using and voila, your able to record a processed track and dry track simultaneously.

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Well then.... ha. I wasn't even picturing running any Spdif on it, but thanks for the reply. I will give this a whirl when I receive my Helix rack unit this week. I may have to come back and re-read this when I am more hands on and in the process, but I think I understand what you have posted here. Thanks a lot for the reply.

 

Has there been an actual release date on the Helix plugin? I keep seeing 'Spring of 2017' but no actual release date...

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I've always been an advocate of KISS when approaching anything like this.

 

Given you want to capture all of the elements of the modeling from the Helix (along with possibly a dry signal) and you're only capturing one guitar in the take, I'd simply opt to have a separate speaker output on the Helix either studio monitors or FRFR powered speaker and simply select the Helix from the DAW.  Once it's captured you can switch back to your other audio interface. for further mixing and such  For the guitar player it's a more natural way of working, especially for setting up patches.  He just plays along with the track in a normal way as in a live performance.  No need for any specialized patches.  Just a normal performance patch, which could also be used for live performances.

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